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Mechanical devices and rearing.

>Keep in mind I'm talking about trying to fix a horse that has a severe
>problem.  Eventually, you will want to remove the tie down entirely.  I'm not
>suggesting you make it a permanent fixture to your tack.

I do not think there is one other problem as serious as rearing under saddle.
It is so serious that I always try to recommend a very deliberate concrete
course of action for dealing with it.  Until you KNOW exactly what is causing
it *AND* have taken logical definitive steps to correct the cause IF the cause
is correctable, you are exponentially increasing your risk of terrible 
injury if not
death being on that horse's back.

If your horse rears while you are on it or while you are leading it, you 
have a
severe problem.

Mechanical devices such as tie-downs, clubs and knotted ropes do not address
the cause.  If you rely on these devices to stop rearing you will find 
unable to use them when you need them most or they will backfire on you and
make the situation worse.

Horses rear for relatively few reasons.  They rear out of pain.  They rear 
restrained from going forward while being urged to go forward.  They rear when
urged to go forward and they do not want to go forward.  And they rear when
they are at liberty and feeling especially good which is not anything to be
concerned about.

The pain detection comes from knowing your horse and continually evaluating
its physical condition.  You look for swellings, dips, hot spots, jerky, odd
movements, a different way of holding its head or something that is 
different than

Sometimes it doesn't take much to cause a horse pain.  And horses are like
people in their reaction to pain.  Some horses are very stoic and will 
to serve under some mind-boggling discomfort.  Others object strenuously to
a blanket wrinkle.

My most memorable case was a horse who "just balks up at unexpected times."
When we examined him it was obvious that he was a twisted mess.  It turns out
he had backed off a bridge, twice, and apparently suffered no ill 
effects.  When
we pointed out the rotated rib cage, snakey neck with lumps on 4 out of 7 
severely twisted Atlas, a sacroiliac strain, sacral twist with an opposite 
hip the owner was stunned and beating herself up for not seeing them and 
she was
angry at her vet for not seeing it either.  This was one of the more 
extreme cases,
but it represents our lack of examination of our horses.

When I first heard he backed off a bridge in her front yard, I just figured 
it was a
trail class prop they were talking about.  A couple of months after that we 
within a couple hours drive and she came down to visit with us.  In looking 
the pictures of the "new" horse after chiro I said, "Oh, you have a 
*bridge* in your
front yard."  She nodded, "And another one in the back, that's the other 
one he
backed off."

No sensible pilot would get in the cockpit of an airplane without going 
around and
carefully examining it first.  Many horse people just climb on.  If the 
horse is not
head-bobbing lame they fail to see it.

If your horse rears because it is denied the opportunity to go forward 
while being
pressured to go forward either by rider action or "wanna go over there 
rather than
stay here" or it doesn't want to go forward when directed, then it is 
rearing because
of a training problem.  Either the rider needs training or the horse needs 
training or
horse AND rider need training.

If the horse is trained to respond to the rider, it waits where it is told 
to wait with
little pressure to do so.  If the horse is trained to respond to the rider, 
it goes forward
when directed.

The bottom line, if a horse rears and pain or is not a factor, the horse is 
not fully
"broke" and probably should not be ridden where it will be encouraged to 
rear until
it is better trained.

Training or detection, not devices, is where the answer lies

Marv "They are going to likely pass the right to sue employers
for health plan matters.  If you work for me, start looking for another
health plan." Walker

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